Gertrude Alison Tomlinson's dislike for cats and dogs exceeded what she felt for her nephew, Christopher Miles Travis, resulting in her bequeathing her considerable estate to him.
Chris Travis, a more than mildly eccentric, had the doubtful misfortune to suffer concussion, following a fall in "Sainsbury's" supermarket when he slipped on a banana skin, the considerable compensation paid to him, enhancing his new found wealth.
His wife, Lynette, whose patience was sorely tried by his extreme antics and at times sarcastic criticisms of everyone and everything in sight, persuaded him to buy a pied-à-terre in northern France but with dire consequences.
Taking a twelve-month sabbatical from the University of Bournemouth where he lectured in medieval studies, they embarked on their new venture. In spite of his instant antagonism for the French people, the French way of life, including in particular their culinary expertise, they were not deterred from achieving what Lynette believed would be an idyllic lifestyle.
Whether the knock on the head he sustained in his local supermarket could have contributed to his wild, but historically accurate, imaginings while asleep, was unclear; they could have lain dormant since his student days and, once reaching French soil, coming to life to mentally transport him back to the time when the country was occupied during the Second World War.
Number 27 rue Mortain is not only a historical journey covering the persecution and suffering of the Arabic and Jewish people throughout the ages, beginning with the Crusades, the Knights Templar; the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem and the Nazi regime orchestrated by Adolf Hitler; it is a humorous insight into the daily life of the Travis family, with each member jostling for centre stage.